Singleton Council has agreed to further investigate the possibility of constructing a new animal management facility at one of three preferred locations.
The decision was made after a report was presented to Councillors at Monday night’s meeting.
And, it was also established a shared facility with Muswellbrook was not an option.
A more detailed report will now be compiled assessing which one of the following locations is most suited:
- the Singleton Regional Livestock Market (saleyards);
- council land opposite the waste management facility;
- or, on land in front of the existing council depot.
Given the final design for the $6 million upgrade of the saleyards will be completed in the coming weeks, incorporating a new animal shelter would make sense.
The need to upgrade, or replace, the existing facility came to a light back in July when local animal rights campaigner, Donna Saunders, made an impassioned presentation to the Council.
Ms Saunders highlighted a number of issues ranging from dogs being exposed to the elements and not getting the chance to be adopted locally, to Council refusing to allow volunteers to help out
At the time the newly appointed general-manager, Jason Linanne, made a firm commitment to resolve the issue.
The current facility is located opposite the waste water treatment plant off Range Road. It was constructed in the 1980’s and does not meet current expectations, or standards, as an animal shelter.
According to the report, upgrading this structure to an appropriate standard would be difficult to achieve, and costly. It is estimated building a new one would cost about $500,000 to $600,000.
Funding options are being explored through a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA). Money may also be available from various NSW government grant schemes, which might need to be combined with a low interest loan.